Monday, June 25, 2012

Helping a Sister in Christ

One of our missionaries, Ursula Morell, has been having some ongoing major medical issues and is scheduled for a lung lobectomy, which is a removal of part of her left lung. She's been battling cancer and is currently in the US for treatment. 

We are looking to send her a care package to help encourage her and were hoping that our sisters at GLCC would want to contribute to it. We will be mailing it out the 2nd of July, so there is just a short time to contribute.

Think of small encouragers.... cards, a journal, lotion, a good book, crossword puzzles, etc....and if you want, you can contribute money as well. They have pay as you go cell phones and the money will be used for that. Bring them to Kris Caudle's office at church and put them in the box marked for Ursula.  Thanks for your generosity to Ursula and for serving the Lord with gladness.

John 15:12 
"This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.

Contact me (Paula Keller) for more info.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Who Am I, and What was God Thinking!?

Kris Caudle is the writer on the blog today.  Thanks, Kris!! 

Who am I? That’s a good question. Well I’m a mom of three, a wife, an administrative assistant, a co-worker, a friend, a housewife, a patient, etc. I am something to everyone, but who really am I? What makes me, me and why do I even exist on this planet. What was God thinking when he created me? So often I lack purpose, direction, desire, and passion yet God created me with all of these. So why is it that I struggle with knowing who I am and lack self-confidence, security, love, significance, and assurance?

 It all goes back to the beginning of time; well, that is the beginning of my time. God created a vibrant little girl, knowing some day she would claim Him as His very own. He was a proud Papa; He loved her greatly & wanted to give her the world. Unfortunately, He had also created this thing called “free will” and others would use this to try to destroy His precious little girl’s concept of who she really was. They would make her feel unwanted, unloved, invaluable, insignificant and most of all insecure. Although the things these people would say & do were completely unmerited and had no ground for truth, they would far out way everything Abba said was true about her. Why is it, that one little lie can out weight the truth tenfold? Why do we allow a lie or lies to define who we are?

 Everything Abba has ever said or done has been nothing but true, yet someone can come along and say one little negative thing about me and that’s who I claim to be. God says I am precious, greatly loved, & significant, but another says I’m worthless & incapable. Rather than clinging to whom God says I am, I tend to cling to the identity of what others say. All my life I’ve been striving to be who I thought others wanted me to be, rather than just being who God created me to be. I’ve become “others” focused instead of “God” focused and I’ve failed miserably at it. Why? Because there’s no way I can ever satisfy everyone; there will always be someone who wants more than I can give. People are just never satisfied, but God on the other hand expects nothing and has actually given everything. Yet, I still constantly try to get my identity out what others think or say about me. So much so that I’ve completely lost who I am in the process. Ask me what my favorite anything is and you’ll find I can’t answer you. Ask me my opinion of something and you’ll find a roundabout answer. I’ve worked so hard at pleasing others and avoiding conflict, that I’ve completely lost all those unique qualities that make me, me. I so desperately want to be loved, accepted, important, significant, & embraced.

 The questions then is, will I seek these things out in the only one that can truly satisfy my longing or will I continue to seek them out in all the wrong places? I’ve wasted enough of my life trying to achieve the impossible. I think it’s about time I started living life out of the truth rather than out of the lies and reclaim that vibrant little girl God created me to be. It’s time to fill that deep longing to be loved and embraced by stepping into His presence and allowing Him to really take me into His arms. I can’t help but think that I’m not alone in this and I hope that you too will be taking that much needed step.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Honor Thy Father

I’m writing this on Father’s Day and here is my conundrum: how to honor a man who chose from day one not to be a part of my life. What does it look like for me to honor a man who wasn’t there to protect me when I was attacked in our home by a neighborhood boy? How do I honor a man who never attended my graduations and wasn’t around for birthdays and Christmas? What does honor look like for a man who wasn’t there to tuck me in at night or walk me down the aisle?

These are tough questions and it has taken me decades to even get to the point that I was willing to ask them. But I am willing because there is One who has always been there for me. The Lord is the Father to the fatherless and I have been adopted into His precious family. I realized a long time ago that He is all the things I could ever want in a earthly father and so much more. He was with me through the attack and He was there for all the birthdays and holidays and in the church when I walked down the aisle arm in arm with my favorite uncle.

It is because of my heavenly Father that I now ask how I can honor my earthly father, a man whom I’ve never laid eyes on. My conclusion thus far is that I can have a heart that is full of forgiveness and love even though he certainly has done nothing to deserve it. This is not lollypop Christianity at work here. I’ve spent a good deal of time wrestling through these issues. God and I have argued about it. I’ve been angry and hurt to the core and I have let my heavenly Father know these things in no uncertain terms. I have listed the hurts and neglect and I have written a letter that will likely never be read by the person for whom it was intended.

My earthly father can never undo the damage he has caused or regain the years that are lost forever. He can’t go back in time and be a grandfather to my children any more than he can turn back the clock and be a dad his little girl. But I can choose what I will do with my reality and I choose Christ and I choose to honor my heavenly Father by making room in my heart for forgiveness and love. I can pray for this man’s salvation as I have no reason to believe he is living in the shelter of God’s Kingdom. I can hope that I will meet him one day, if not in this life, but the one to come. And I could do none of these things if I did not have a Father who loves and adores me and has taught me a better way.

I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me. Phil 4:13

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

No matter the circumstances

Poppa cares!

Due to the civil war in El Salvador my parents moved to Virginia. I grew up with a loving father who made me feel important, valuable needed and loved. We were technically Catholic but at that time there were not many places with a Spanish service that we knew of and my parents didn’t speak English, so we really didn’t have a church home or strong community around us. I did know that there was a God, sin and consequences and this helped shape my decisions in life. 

After being away from his country for over 7 years, my father finally had his residency and was able to travel. He decided to go to El Salvador to visit his family for what should have been a 3 week visit, but he would never return.  A week after my 13th birthday my father was killed.   I was devastated. I didn’t understand how God could let this happen. Why he allowed this horrible man to kill my father and leave 4 kids and a wife who needed him. I decided that if there was a God he was cruel and didn’t care about us and I didn’t really want any part of him.  I decided whenever I was sad or alone I would pray- but to my deceased father to help me, lead me and allow me to make the right choices. When I made mistakes I would talk to my father about them as I thought it would have been had he been alive, asking for guidance and forgiveness. 

After the loss of my father I hardened my heart. I didn’t allow any negative things to bring me down or dictate my mood. I rarely cried, to be honest I’m not sure if I cried at all unless it was when I allowed myself to miss my Dad. And life was not easy. I created a self-sufficient mask and believed I could do everything on my own. One of my coping methods was to always prepare for worst case scenario. This helped me feel a sense of “control” and that I could avoid bad things, prevent problems, prepare for the worst and have solutions for life mapped out. The weight of the world on my shoulders was terribly heavy. I didn’t realize how much until the first time I came to church. I knew the Lord had been pursuing me and I had a need in my life I could not fill. But that first Sunday I came to church I felt the Lord was speaking directly to me. The tears started coming! It felt so freeing. The first song I heard in church was “Draw me close to you"

That is what I wanted!  My heart’s desire and the truth was that no matter how much we strive only God meets our needs. But always the gentleman he patiently waits while still being there for us, unappreciated, recognized or loved back. He gives unconditionally and we do not see him until we are ready.

It’s impossible to understand God's plan or purpose for the trials, loses and even blessing we are given. But there is a plan. I am learning to trust God daily and lean into his promises. I thank God for being me with this whole time even when I didn’t trust God cared about my life and its struggles.

Deuteronomy 31:8  “ The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Friday, June 15, 2012


I've been putting something off all week.  I haven't wanted to do it and I've dreaded doing it, but today is the day I said I would do it, so do it I must.  I'm going to clean my house.  Dread, dragging my heels, and frustration before it even begins and I'm finding a heap of things to do instead.  Procrastination is my middle name.  It's so easy to get down and to look at the negative side of things and all of the work and the lack of fun in doing laundry and cleaning toilets (I have three boys...need I say more?), vacuuming up pounds of dog hair and taking out the trash.  I've come to realize I have a heartitude problem and it needs to change.

I was on Facebook the other day, one of my best procrastinating tools, and saw a photo of a little girl.  She's the daughter of a friend of mine and that photo has inspired me to change my wicked ways.  Here it is.
What do you see in this photo?  I see a little girl with the right kind of heartitude.  She's helping her mother around the house and is dressed up in a cute outfit, accessorized, and she's even got her tiara on.  Her entire attitude says spunk and sass.....I'm gonna knock this job out and I'm going to look good doing it!  I was struck by the difference between her heartitude and my own.  I get up on cleaning days in a grump.  I don't shower because I'm going to be all sweaty anyway and why put on something cute when it's going to get dirty.  I scrunch my hair up in a clip and grab the laundry basket and my martyrdom has begun.  Moan, frown, complain.  Well, that's going to change!

Psalm 100:2 says "Serve the Lord with GLADNESS!"
Proverbs 15:13 says, "A GLAD heart makes a cheerful countenance."
Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, "Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all of your might."

This won't be easy.  Old habits die hard and I'm going to have to remind myself throughout the day to look to the Lord, to give Him praise for my home and family, to thank Him for my strength of body to do the work, and to sing when I would normally complain.  Changes in heartitude are on the way!  Are there any changes you need to make?

Now, where did I leave my tiara?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Father's Day Without Dad

This post is by Vicki Corder and her family.

This Sunday marks one of many firsts my children have in front of them. It will be their first Father’s Day without their dad. Even as I type this tears are filling my eyes (as they have every day for the past few days whenever I think about it). We are mulling over how we might spend the day in celebration and memory of the great man who was their earthly father. Precious friends have invited us over, but we are still not sure if this is something we can do. But before we face Sunday, we will join together as a family and walk the “Purple Stride” which is a 5k walk to raise money for pancreatic cancer research. My 17 year old daughter Kathleen, who participated in it last year with some good friends, organized this for us and encouraged all of us to walk; so Kathleen, Scott, Greg, Emily, Jennifer and I will be walking in memory of Steve Corder, who to them (and me) was the greatest dad of all. 

There is still time to join our team either by walking with us or donating to our team fundraising efforts.
Follow the link below to donate

 Click on dc event, then on the left tabs choose "Donate to a team". Choose team “corder7” and click on the "general team donation" tab. Then just follow the prompts. If you want to walk with our team, after clicking on dc event follow the prompts for "join a team" and again pick corder7.
We so appreciate your support and prayers.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Popcorn Strings

Pastor Bob’s message Sunday encouraged me to think about a few things in my life. The story he told  about how the family spend their time in preparing for a celebration by stringing popcorn for the Christmas tree because it was the most fun thing to do, but neglected the other details that would make the full celebration and so when the time came, there was no food,  Christmas tree, etc.  It made me think about how that applies to me.  Now, people who know me know that I am not the one stringing popcorn.  No, I am a Martha (Luke 10:38-42) but his message challenged me anyways.

There was a time in my household when my husband and daughter preferred not to have people over because I would spend all day cleaning the house and make them do it with me. Now to my defense I work full time and so by the time we cleaned it would take longer, especially since they only helped if someone was coming over.  It wasn’t fun. And by the time our guests were there, we were exhausted.  So yes, our story was the other extreme, but it got me to thinking. The Lord has really worked in me and shown me these last few years that there is a time to be Martha and a time to be Mary and to prioritize my life so that I can enjoy those times.
So maybe you are a Martha, or maybe you are a Mary and neither of these two is wrong, they just have to work together. That is the real secret that is no secret at all! 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Bible Study Opportunities.....Get Connected!

Ladies, our Summer Book Club small groups will begin mid-July. Sign up soon as space is limited. We still have room in our morning groups and are announcing an additional evening group! 

Choose from: 

Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m. at the home of Esther Booth, co-leading with Cindy Wayland, in Manassas discussing the Francine Rivers novel, "Lineage of Grace"

Thursdays at 10:00 a.m. at the home of Joy Kelly in Midland/Warrenton, discussing "Heaven Is Now" by Andrew Farley.

Our two original evening groups are now full.

BUT... we do have a NEW evening group meeting on Tuesday evenings in Bristow at 7:15 - 8:45 p.m. at the home of Deeanne Rampey discussing the book "Life! Celebrate It: Listen, Learn, Laugh, Love" by Luci Swindoll. 

If you would like to sign up or have any questions, please contact Lisa Fowler at 540-341-3511 or at"

A big thanks to Lisa Fowler for organizing this and for being faithful to see it through!!

Great Expectations

My grandmother died when I was six years old and after the funeral, family members came to divide up her things.  She and my grandfather had lived with us, so I sat on our steps and watched through the banister while they worked.  I only wanted a couple of things....her navy blue stockings and a hat pin.  Go figure.  I was too small to wear stockings and never wore a hat, but that's what I got.

When they were gone we, my brother and sister and I, discovered a little cedar box that had been left behind.  It was the kind a girl receives at graduation, one with a little lock and just big enough for small keepsakes.  We shook it and there was something in it, something mysterious and clunky and it sounded like money....or a big diamond....or money.....or an emerald....or understand my thinking.  We wanted the treasure inside but the box was locked and there was no key.  What to do???

My brother was 7 and much more knowledgeable about getting into things, so he went for the screwdriver.  My sister and I crowded around and waited while the money/jewels rattled around in the box.  Sweating and straining, brother worked and pried at the hinges with the screwdriver, creating a slight gap but one that was too narrow to see.  The tension was killing us and the excitement grew and grew.

Finally, with a pop, the top flew open and the contents spilled out and we stood there amazed....and horrified!  No diamonds, emeralds, or money...just my grandmother's spare pair of dentures, yellowed and stained!  Oh the sadness as we realized our dreams of riches were dashed and we would have to live on in the same old everyday world.  We threw the mess away and went back to our humdrum play, disappointed and dejected.

What's in your "box of expectations" today?  What have you been hoping for that will take you out of your life and bring you happiness or excitement or joy....peace and contentment because at the moment you have neither?  Maybe your box of expectations includes a new boyfriend, or a new job, or an upcoming year at college that's going to be so much better than that last year of high school.  Maybe your expectations include being best friends with the new lady on the block, the one who seems so nice and easygoing?  Perhaps your box of expectations has a baby in it or a loving husband who will complete Jerry McGuire said in that sappy movie.  We all have one....a box with hopes and dreams and potential disappointments.  That's reality.

In this up and down world, we can place our hopes and dreams on what we DO know.  We can hope with the One who will never disappoint us or let us down.  When we look at Jesus, we are not surprised by ugly or met with shame, or faced with discouragement and doubt.  We can trust Him who is constant and unchanging and loving and tender...ALWAYS.  Perhaps your freshman year at college will not be what you dreamed....God is faithful.   If your children turn away from you and go their own way, God is faithful.  If the doctor tells you that having a baby won't be possible, God is faithful.  When you are alone and your marriage is crumbling, God is faithful.  With Him, we never have to wonder what will be in the box.

Psalm 39:7 "But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.